With so many transplanted New Yorkers calling South Florida home, it's easy to find a slice of NY-style pie. But deep dish is a little harder to come by.
And Detroit-style deep dish? Forget it! You probably didn't even know that was a thing, but you're about to.
The square pies are just one of many Detroit-inspired dishes you'll find at newly opened Motor City Pizza & Deli in Boynton Beach. According to co-owners Amy Pozzi and Jeff Emming — who opened the business alongside Pozzi's cousin Mark Tocco and his wife Vanessa — the 3-week-old restaurant offers a little bit of everything from their home state of Michigan.
That includes Detroit's famous meat, mustard, and onion-topped Coney Island hot dogs; giant, double-decker burgers fashioned after those made by Michigan-based Big Boy Restaurant; beef barley soup flecked with house-made corned beef; and a Detroit-style Reuben sandwich. They even have Vernors ginger ale and Sanders hot fudge.
"About the only thing that isn't from Michigan is the Carnegie Deli cheesecake," says Pozzi. "We had to bring the best, and that's from New York."
The Motor City's menu lists more than a dozen deep-dish pizza options prepared by Tocco himself. Each features a perfect deep-dish crust: a light, porous dough that's spongy and soft at the center, framed by a crispy bottom and cheese-baked crusty top.
"Chicago deep dish is more like a thick pie. And New York-style pizzas are thin and flavorless. Detroit pizza is somewhere in the middle, and the best of both worlds," says Pozzi, a Detroit native.
Tocco — a longtime chef who began cooking at his family's Michigan delis in the early 1980s — prepares each of the restaurant's dishes fresh each day. That includes the house-made corned beef, pastrami, soups, dressings, and — of course — the pizza dough.
Motor City's deep-dish pies are baked in rectangular-shaped industrial steel pans and topped with a combination of Wisconsin brick and mozzarella cheeses. The blend allows the cheese to remain gooey at the center while the cheese at the edge of the pan caramelizes into the crust.
Pozzi says customers have already compared the pies to Buddy's, the Detroit-based restaurant credited with introducing the city's deep-dish pizza recipe in the early 1940s. It's a huge compliment, especially coming from Michigan natives.
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Among transplanted Michiganders, Motor City's most popular pie is the 313 All Meaty, named for an infamous Wayne County area code and topped with pepperoni, bacon, ham, Italian sausage, and ground beef.
The menu also offers breakfast, or lunch and dinner options like cheese fries, chicken wings, chili, salads, deli sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers. Desserts feature more Michigan products, including Sanders hot fudge sundaes and Vernors floats.
Motor City Pizza & Deli is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 1538 SW Eighth St. in Boynton Beach. Call 561-736-3000 or visit motorcitypizzandeli.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.